Whitbread raises 2013 interim dividend by 11.8%

DividendMax Ltd.

Whitbread raises 2013 interim dividend by 11.8%

Financial Highlights

Total revenue up 12.4% to £1,144.7 million (2012/13: £1,018.1 million)

Group like for like sales up 2.8%

Underlying profit before tax up 12.6% to £216.1 million (2012/13: £191.9 million)

Underlying diluted EPS up 12.2% to 90.92p (2012/13: 81.04p)

Interim dividend up 11.8% to 21.80p (2012/13: 19.50p)

Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants underlying profit up 7.9% to £195.7 million (2012/13: £181.3 million)

Costa underlying profit up 20.5% to £43.5 million (2012/13: £36.1 million)

Premier Inn total sales up 12.2% and like for like sales up 3.3%

Costa total sales up 20.9%, worldwide system sales up 19.5% and like for like sales up 5.5%

Group return on capital increased to 14.4% (2012/13: 13.7%)

Strong cash flow from operations up 7.9% to £307.7 million (2012/13: £285.3 million)

Net debt £430.1 million (£471.1 million at 28th February 2013);

Statutory Highlights

Profit after tax and exceptional items for the half year up 4.5% to £175.9 million (2012/13: £168.3 million)

Total basic EPS 99.33p up 4.2% (2012/13: 95.32p)

On track for our 2016 and 2018 milestones

Premier Inn opened 1,368 net UK rooms taking the total to 53,039. With a secured pipeline of over 10,500 rooms the 2016 milestone of 65,000 rooms is in sight

Costa added 153 net new coffee shops taking the total to 2,680 worldwide

1,200 new UK jobs created by Whitbread brands, with a further 10,000 expected over the next three years

Anthony Habgood, Chairman, said:

"This is another good set of results with our leading brands going from strength to strength. We continue to have high levels of customer satisfaction and brand preference together with excellent employee engagement. Our financial strength enables us to invest consistently in the business and gain market share while maintaining prudent debt levels. We have increased the interim dividend by 11.8%."

Andy Harrison, Chief Executive, said:

"Whitbread has delivered another good performance with double digit growth. The combination of organic network expansion and good like for like sales growth, drove a 12.6% increase in underlying pre-tax profits. Since the onset of the recession in 2008/9, Whitbread has grown its sales and underlying pre-tax profits by 11.1% and 12.0% per annum respectively, demonstrating the strength of the business and our leading market positions.

Our two growth engines, Premier Inn and Costa, performed well. Premier Inn, the UK's leading hotel chain, continued to win market share, opening 12 new hotels. This contributed to a total sales increase of 12.2%, with especially strong growth in London where sales grew by 18.4%. Like for like sales grew by 3.3% with an increase in occupancy to 80.3%. We also opened three new joint site restaurants and our Restaurants business performed in line with a challenging market, with total sales up 2.9%. Costa, the UK's favourite coffee shop, continued its excellent performance, opening 153 net new stores worldwide and growing total system sales by 19.5%. UK system sales grew by 19.6%, with strong consumer demand driving a 5.5% growth in UK like for like sales. We celebrated the opening in Bangkok of our 1,000th Costa international store. 

This good first half performance puts us on track to deliver this year's business plan and we remain on the right trajectory for our 2016 and 2018 growth milestones. Our combination of strong organic growth, good returns on capital and strong cash flow should continue to create substantial shareholder value."

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